In this week’s teaching, John 5:19-29 revealed how Jesus has ultimate authority in our lives. We also see how Jesus submitted to the authority of his Father and how his example is to be followed. We learn to do this by denying our own independence and accepting our complete dependence on God.
We struggle as a culture to understand how authority and submission are good things. We are told to define the authenticity of authority by whether it inhibits or promotes our personal happiness. But God defines submission as joy-filled protection in order that we may experience life to the fullest. Unpacking the ultimate authority of Jesus in our life will help us understand, interact, and steward the gift of submission well.
Read this from the Bible together:
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father[a]does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Some key statements and questions put forward that are important for us to talk about…
“For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing.” Why do you think it’s important that love is what tethers Jesus to God’s authority? Why do you think God shows Jesus the work he is doing? Why is partnering with God an inseparable reality of being loved by him?
“For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,” Why do you think the authority to judge sin was given to Jesus? Why did God chose to use his ultimate authority to give you life instead of death? What does that tell you about the character of God?
Have you struggled to submit to the authority of God? What is it about the character or nature of God that makes you wonder if he is worthy of your submission?
Are there areas of your life that are not in clear allegiance to God’s ultimate authority? What areas might those be? (sex life, finances, marriage, job, thoughts, habits, worry, addictions, etc.)
Can you reflect on or remember an area of your life where you did submit to God’s ultimate authority? What was the outcome of that?” How can we be the kinds of people who remind each other often about how good God’s ultimate authority is?